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Demanding the right to be who he is


Sakris Kupila has never identified as a woman. Yet the 21-year-old medical student must endure daily embarrassment because his identity documents say he is female.

Sakris was a teenager when he realized that the gender he was given at birth didn’t express who he is. He chose a new name – which is considered male – but under Finnish law people are not allowed names of another gender. Sakris had to be diagnosed with a “mental disorder” to keep his name.

This was Sakris’ first step towards legal recognition of who he is. But to have your gender reassigned in Finland, you must be diagnosed with a “mental disorder” and sterilized. Such requirements are a stain on Finland’s reputation for openness and tolerance.

For Sakris, the choice is clear. He opposes this humiliating treatment and is demanding a change to the law. “The basic human rights of transgender people are currently violated in Finland,” he says. “Not only do we face discrimination within society itself, but also by the state.”

Sakris’ struggle has earned him threats and open hostility. But he won’t give in. “I’ll stop when the fight is over,” he says.

Tell Finland to change the law and support transgender rights activists.

Prime Minister